Prototype fan beam optical computed tomography scanner for three-dimensional radiotherapy dose verification




Rudko, David

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A prototype rapid, high precision fan beam optical computed tomography (OptCT) scanner for three-dimensional polymer gel dosimetry of complex radiotherapy protocols has been developed. This study documents the design. construction and characterization of the system, as well as preliminary reconstructed optical attenuation images and dosimetric verification experiments. The principal goal in scanner design and implementation was to satisfy the Radiotherapy Accuracy and Precision (RTAP) criteria consisting of a spatial resolution of 1 x 1 x 1 mm3, an imaging time of 60 minutes, a dose accuracy within 3% and a precision within 1%. The scanner, which employs a sixty degree fan beam of 543 nm laser light to scan irradiated polymer gel samples up to 19 cm in cross-sectional diameter. has several defining attributes. Data acquisition for a single slice through a dosimeter is achieved in two minutes, using one signal acquisition per CT projection angle over a total of 360 projections. The effects of scatter and refraction of visible light are minimized by using the unique radial design of the matching medium tank, the concentric arrangement of a prototype, computer numerical control (CNC)-machined collimator and five Hamamatsu photodiode detector arrays for light detection. The novel tertiary collimation eliminates scattered light by 13% and improves reconstructed image contrast-to-noise ratio. Other characteristics of the scanner include: a laser power output variation of only 0.7%:, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR.) for calibration projections of up to 294:1, SNR for transmission projections through an irradiated polymer gel dosimeter of up to 161:1, a large absorbance dynamic range extending from 0.1 to 1.7 absorbance units and a spatial resolution of 0.25 mm2 in the axial plane of the scan¬ning geometry and 0.8 mm along the longitudinal z-axis of the scan plane. Images of optical attenuation coefficients and concomitant dose maps extracted from irradi¬ated, normoxic N--isopropylacylamide (NIPAM) polymer gels were used to investigate the potential of the system for dosimetric verification. Three different NIPAM gel irradiation experiments were performed and the resultant OptCT dose distributions were compared to the Eclipse® (Varian Medical Systems. Palo Alto. CA.) treatment planning system model. While the fan beam OptCT scanner provides promising ini¬tial images of reconstructed optical attenuation coefficients, its dosimetric accuracy compared to Eclipse - nominally 7% in low dose gradient regions and 5% on the field edges - constitutes the most significant area for future refinement.



Radiotherapy, Scanning systems